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Pakistan directs Pulwama fire at Afghanistan, says peace talks to be hit if India attacks

Afghanistan’s foreign ministry summons Pakistani ambassador Zahid Nasrullah Khan, hands him diplomatic démarches for his statement.

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New Delhi: The Afghanistan government has taken strong exception to Pakistani envoy Zahid Nasrullah Khan’s statement that if India retaliates against the terror attack in Pulwama, the peace talks between the US and the Taliban will be affected.

The Afghan foreign ministry summoned Khan Wednesday, with deputy foreign minister for political affairs Idrees Zaman tweeting that he had been handed diplomatic démarches.

Amrullah Saleh, the former acting interior minister of Afghanistan who is now running for vice-president under the banner of President Ashraf Ghani, also tweeted that India should not feel guilty of jeopardising the peace talks.

“Pakistani ambassador to Kabul has warned that if India retaliates the Kashmir terror attack his country would take revenge from Afghanistan. This is an act of blackmail, bullying & cowardice. Dear India we are able to take care of ourselves so don’t bow to terror and do what is right,” Saleh tweeted.

US Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, is gearing up to meet Taliban leaders in Qatar on 25 February to continue the negotiations for an eventual withdrawal of American troops from Kabul. Pakistan is playing the role of facilitator in the talks.

Khalilzad tweeted a picture of a rally in Asadabad that took place Monday, and said: “I’m encouraged by the thousands of people who attended the PPM rally for #peace in Asadabad yesterday. This is another sign that the people of #Afghanistan yearn for peace. And the United States stands with them.”

Also read: US making progress in negotiating peace with Taliban: Trump during State of Union address

Trump’s reaction

US President Donald Trump reacted to the Pulwama attack Tuesday, saying “it’s a horrible situation”, and that it would be “wonderful if India and Pakistan get along”.

Tensions between India and Pakistan have escalated to a level where both sides are threatening to attack each other. This happened after a CRPF convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber, killing 40 personnel and wounding many. The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, headed by Masood Azhar, claimed responsibility for the strike.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said Tuesday that his country would not think twice before retaliating if India attacked. He urged India to share evidence with his government for a probe into the attack.

Meanwhile, diplomatic sources told ThePrint that countries such as the UK and France have stated that they will move a resolution again with the United Nations Security Council to enlist Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

Also read: In India, Saudi Arabia Crown Prince says will help fight terror but stays silent on Pulwama

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  1. India is at the Cross roads. Saudi Prince MBS gives pak billions of US Dollars with an advice to rein in Terror. He respects Indian objections and goes to Riyadh from Pak to return to New Delhi. He signs mutually beneficial business deals with India. Urges India to maintain regional peace. The 44 CRPF brave hearts martyrdom is no issue for World Nations and their Leaders. India has to show restraint perpetually for the cause of world peace. Pak brazenly attacks India with China’s tacit support and USA’s restraint to even comment. Terrorists from Pak soil own up responsibility for the attacks and PM Pak seeks proof. China vetos Masood Azhar of JEM being declared a global terrorist. Nuclear trigger by Pak seems imminent if India goes to avenge. How long India can play the victim and lose soldiers ONLY? World populations have to ponder over whether they can put Indian soldiers to death every day for their own peaceful survival? India cannot change its neighbour.

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